subscribe to careers
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  Careers

Workers Suffer Discrimination Due to Mental Illness - Study


Monday, 7th October 2013 at 10:39 am
Staff Reporter
More than one in five Australians have experienced discrimination in the workplace due to mental illness, according to a study by the Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA).

Monday, 7th October 2013
at 10:39 am
Staff Reporter


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Workers Suffer Discrimination Due to Mental Illness - Study
Monday, 7th October 2013 at 10:39 am

More than one in five Australians have experienced discrimination in the workplace due to mental illness, according to a study by the Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA).

The research, conducted for World Mental Health Day on October 10, asked people if they had witnessed discrimination at their place of work, due to their mental illness or the mental illness of a co-worker.

“When 22 per cent of people surveyed tell us that they have witnessed discrimination in the workplace, relating to mental illness, it shows that we have a serious problem with stigma in this country,” MHCA CEO Frank Quinlan said.

The study found 69 per cent of people were uncomfortable disclosing a mental illness to their employer and a third of people said they would disclose a mental illness and more than a third said they never would.

“It is concerning that 35 per cent of respondents completely ruled out the possibility of talking about mental health, even if it was appropriate to do so. That’s a big problem, especially if it means people not seeking help they need, when they need it,” Quinlan said.

“These results demonstrate that some people have a real fear about potentially negative consequences should they tell their employers and their colleagues that they are mentally unwell.

“The reality is that for the vast majority of people with a mental illness, openness and conversations do help employees, employers and workmates to contribute through meaningful and successful employment.

“We need to have a goal for our society to make it acceptable for individuals to talk about mental health in the workplace and to make it ok to seek help when they need it, without fear or stigma.

“To assist in this goal, ahead of World Mental Health Day on 10 October, we want people to recognise that we all have an important role to play in our own mental health. We want employers and employees to visit 1010.org.au, make a personal mental health promise and then share it.

“Small steps like this can really help to break down stigma and help change a negative culture in Australian workplaces.

“In addition, there is a great deal that employers are already doing to create mentally healthy workplaces including: demonstrating open dialogue about good mental health, raising awareness using online resources, training managers and staff in mental health first aid, and instigating mental health policies and practices.”

Key findings:

  • 33 per cent of people with a current or past mental illness have disclosed it to their current employer. This includes 49 per cent of those who believe they still have a mental illness.

  • When hypothetically asked if they were to have a mental illness in the future, would they tell a future employer, 35 per cent said they would not tell, 29 per cent said they would.

  • Three-quarters of people surveyed would feel uncomfortable telling their employer they were experiencing a mental illness relevant to their work, including 61 per cent of those who say they still have a mental illness and 71 per cent of people who claim to never have had one.

  • A large majority of Australians – more than eight in 10 – believe schizophrenia, depression, bipolar and anxiety all diminish a person’s ability to undertake paid work. A high 42 per cent believe schizophrenia reduces this ability “a lot”.


Staff Reporter  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews



Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au


Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

People with severe mental illness left behind in NDIS transition

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 16th April 2019 at 4:25 pm

Changing the political narrative this election

Michelle Blanchard

Tuesday, 16th April 2019 at 8:24 am

As many Muslims return to mosques today, they will need ongoing support

Contributor

Friday, 22nd March 2019 at 4:14 pm

Therapy chickens bring joy to aged care home

Maggie Coggan

Friday, 15th March 2019 at 4:52 pm

POPULAR

Charities take fundraising into their own hands

Maggie Coggan

Tuesday, 18th June 2019 at 8:28 am

Setting Aussie kids up for success

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 5th June 2019 at 4:13 pm

Why an AAT ruling could shake-up NDIS funding

Luke Michael

Friday, 14th June 2019 at 4:16 pm

subscribe to careers
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!